Phones Switching to android. Essentials?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by lyceumHQ, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. lyceumHQ macrumors 6502a


    Aug 4, 2010
    So I returned my bent iPhone 6 and have ordered a Moto G 4G (went with this as the 2014 is a little too big). Figured it's a good basics android device that will last me a year.

    My only experience with android was two weeks of owning a nexus 4. And I have to admit I hated every second of it sold it and went back to the iPhone 5. The battery was awful and everything just felt clunky. But having had a play with the Moto G I was really impressed and am excited to try something new.

    Should I root it? Or not bother (I always jailbreak my iPhone's). If so is there an idiots guide for someone who's never rooted a device before?

    I'm also looking for a messaging app that provides quick reply (reason I jailbreak my iPhone's is bitesms)?

    Basically. What are the essential apps that I need? Absolute must have apps? Are their tweaks that are must have?

    I've had iPhones since the 3G so if there's any advice on how to make the switch easy i'd appreciate it.
  2. Stooby Mcdoobie macrumors 6502a

    Stooby Mcdoobie

    Jun 26, 2012
    Depends... what tweaks did you use on your iPhone? It's likely that most or all can be achieved on Android without root.

    Textra is my favorite SMS app; been using it for years. Handcent and Go SMS are good as well.

    This might be worth a look. The biggest favor you can do for yourself is to not compare it to iOS, which I know is easier said than done. Most tasks can be accomplished in similar ways between the two operating systems but there are differently some differences. Give yourself a few weeks to learn the nuances.
  3. lyceumHQ thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 4, 2010

    I usually jailbroke for bitesms quick reply. Winter board for themes. Springtomise for a whole heap of things. Removing page dots. Adding date to status bar. Removing certain icons from status bar (rotation lock etc). Being able to have folders in folders. Hiding icon and folder names. Hiding icons of apps I couldn't uninstall. That's all I can remember off top of my head.

    Also iappcrazy for game hacks.

    Bytafont to change the system font.

    Ccsettings so I can chose myself what goes in the control centre.

    Thanks. Have made a note of textra so will give it a look. Pick the phone up Thursday. So looking forward to setting it up and trying something new.

    I already have my contacts backed up to my google account and my pics on my PC. I need to figure out how to transfer my text messages as I have some I need to keep.
  4. grandM macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    good luck, you might need it
  5. Stooby Mcdoobie macrumors 6502a

    Stooby Mcdoobie

    Jun 26, 2012
    A lot of that can be done by using a third party launcher. I personally use Nova launcher but there are many great ones to choose from.

    I've never transferred text messages between the two but it doesn't look to be too hard.
  6. lyceumHQ thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 4, 2010
    Can someone point me in the direction of a rooting guide for the MotoG 4G please?
  7. Stooby Mcdoobie macrumors 6502a

    Stooby Mcdoobie

    Jun 26, 2012
  8. lyceumHQ thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 4, 2010

    Yeah I will do. Nova prime looks like it does pretty much all the little display customisation so it probably won't be needed. But would like to know how it's done in case I decide to at a later date.
  9. Dave.UK macrumors 65816


    Sep 24, 2012
    Kent, UK
    I use Nova Launcher Prime which I find fantastic and much better then the default launcher.

    For SMS i use ChompSMS

    For Music i use Google Music Play - Upload 20,000 songs to the cloud for free.
  10. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    I'll second this suggestion. There is so much to explore before getting into the additional capabilities rooting provides.

    My best advice is to just have patience. You're used to doing everything a very specific way as dictated by iOS. You see so many switchers get exasperated because their new Android phone does things differently than what they're used to.
  11. lyceumHQ thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 4, 2010
    I have never owned an idevice that wasn't jail broken. I never upgraded until the jailbreak was released. So yes I'm used to IOS but I'm used to iOS doing what I want not the other way around. I customise it how I want and use whatever cydia tweaks add the functionality I would like.

    And I like to to tinker. Which is why I like the idea of rooting. So I can try different ROM's etc.

    But I like the idea of being able to do the majority out of the box and not have to jailbreak.

    I won't lie. I'd not be getting an android of the iPhone 6 hadn't bent but at the end of they day smartphones all do the same. You open an app and browse/play a game/watch a video/listen to some music etc.

    But I don't expect, or what android to be and do things the same as iOS. I think I'd be massively disappointed if I did expect that. Just as an android user would if they expected the same of iOS.

    Pick the phone up tomorrow. 32gb micro sd card delivered today. I'm excited to try something new.
  12. mi7chy macrumors 601


    Oct 24, 2014
    A lot things you can do on Android don't require root plus you should run stock at least long enough to establish a baseline.
  13. gotluck macrumors 603


    Dec 8, 2011
    East Central Florida
    I was in a similar position as yourself, was on iPhone, always jailbroken, never update before next jailbreak was available, all that jazz (still do on iPad)

    I rooted my android device day one, namely for adblocking (adaway from then other things. You sound savvy, just make sure you read up, xda is the best source.

    Androids weakness is in the ability to control apps, permissions, running in the background, and the like. Most of my root apps cover those weaknesses, greenify, app ops, and wake lock detector. They aren't really necessary, but I find them useful tools.

    Root is more of a utility thing on android versus jailbreaking being more about functionality. Not essential , particularly on a stock android device like the Moto g, unless you want adblocking.
  14. lyceumHQ thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 4, 2010

    Another reason I am considering rooting is titanium backup. I believe that requires root access?

    I need to figure out what happens with updates etc when you're rooted. Since I know Lollipop is imminent and I don't see the point to rooting only to have to either undo it or lose it when the update rolls out. If that's the way rooting works. Apologies if not since I'm new to this.

    Good thing is it's all on the SD card (I mean things I actually care about. Pics and video) and backed up to either drop box or Google drive. So even worse case scenario I won't lose anything important.

    My contacts are already backed up to my google account too.

    Having always been a die hard iPhone owner I admit having to get my head around an entirely new OS seems a little daunting but it's going to be fun getting to play around with something entirely new to me. I remember my first iPhone seemed completely co fusing for the first week or so too.
  15. gotluck, Nov 26, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014

    gotluck macrumors 603


    Dec 8, 2011
    East Central Florida
    Aye yes titanium backup requires root. Haven't used it myself but definitely one of the most popular root apps. Helium is an alternative too, may not need root?

    Root and OTAs will be changing with lollipop and I am unclear on exactly how it will work. My personal device has went from 4.2.2 to 4.4.4 with no restores or resets, rooted the whole time. In the past OTAs have only cared if you have altered stock system files, adding files didn't matter. Rumor is the OTAs after 5.0 will check to be sure there are no additional files too ( I may have read this only applies to devices that shipped with lollipop from the factory). My device hasn't received lollipop yet

    Much different experience than doing a full restore for every update with jailbreaking, we shall see if its still true in the future.

    I found I still missed jb iOS, so I bought an iPad ;)

    Have learned much tinkering with android too though, keeping it interesting
  16. lyceumHQ thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 4, 2010
    Thanks. I'll leave it as stock for now and see if I fancy rioting in a few weeks.

    I have an iPad too. I had intended to go the other way. An iPhone 6 and an android tab but it worked out the opposite. And I've too much cash in iOS apps to just not have any idivices at all.
  17. lyceumHQ thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 4, 2010
    Had the moto g a few days now.

    Thought it was faulty at first because the WiFi kept dropping. But cleared the cache petition and that sorted that thankfully.

    I find it a lot less intuitive than the iPhone. Everything takes an extra click (ie switching off wifi. On the iPhone I swipe up and switch it off. With this I have to swipe down, click settings then wifi then on/off or open app draw-settings - wifi-on/off). But that's hardly a gigantic effort. So I can't say its a con when using the phone.

    I despise the keyboard . I've tried swiftkey and a few others from the play store. They're all abysmal and the more I use it the more I hate it. I'm typing this on my laptop with my phone sat next to me. I've not done that to make a quick forum post for years but the keyboards are that bad. Stock is about the best for me personally but even that is atrocious.

    I cant find a browser or twitter app I like.
    I use atomic on my iPhone. Real tabs (as in lined up next to each other at the top of the page, not hidden away and i have to click a button to view the tabs). I can't find an ad blocker that doesn't need root access and ads in the browser are already annoying the hell out of me.

    Only thing I really miss is the home button. I am so used to double clicking to switch between apps.

    On the plus side I like the extra screen size.
    I think for me personally the size of this phone is perfect. I've never been a fan of large phones so this is the perfect balance between one handed use and portability and still having a decent screen.

    I love that adding 32gb memory cost me £9 not £80.

    I like that I don't need to jailbreak to customise the phone the way I want. Nova prime does most of it and there's a tweak for the rest.

    For £100 its a cracking bit of kit. But I'm wondering if I should have bothered at all.

    So, I'll give it another week then decide whether to keep it or not. Not because I dislike android or am missing my iPhone but mainly because I can't see any benefits over the phone I had, its no quicker and doesn't have or do anything the 5 doesn't, besides 4G and there's barely a 3G signal where I am so that's a non issue. So am wondering if its worth the 'upgrade' or if I should just stick with the 5 till it stops working, save the cash and see what's available in a year or so/when my 5 gives up the ghost.

    I would be loathed to go back to the smaller screen. Looking at my 5 now the screen seem tiny.

    God I hate being so indecisive haha
  18. dgr874 macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2012
    I did the same thing. Went out and bought a Moto G (2013) to see how the android world was getting on. I like it and all but, like you said, I just don't see how its better than what I have now either. For the price though, you get a really decent phone.

    I am going to keep it for sure. I just don't know how much ill use it. I'm looking forward to getting Lollipop and seeing how that works.
  19. lyceumHQ thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 4, 2010
    The intention was to keep it for a year and either get a flagship android or the next iPhone.

    And I don't think I was expecting too much. I wasn't thinking I would get flagship performance for £100. So the phone is in no way a disappointment. For the price its amazing. My iPhone is two years old so I'm not used to the latest and greatest anyway.

    I've not decided yet though. Will give it a week and see how I feel.
  20. Heavy Fluid macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2008
    For quick access to stuff like WiFi, Bluetooth, etc. I use Power Togles: and set up a nice widget on the home screen. One touch on and off.

    For SMS the best that I have found is 8SMS: which I am very happy with.

    You already have Nova Prime correct? Apex Pro is another cheap launcher that I have used that seems to have a bit more customization to it than Nova. I am currently using Nova Prime however.
  21. iososx macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2014
    Absolutely Essential...
    1) An open mind
    2) Willingness to accept its _not_ an iPhone
    3) Desire to learn a new and different OS
    4) REMEMBER that Google Search is powerful, comprehensive, and able to provide you with solutions to everything Android.

    Rooting, if you have to ask... do yourself a big favor. Learn Android First!

    Then and only then will you be ready to make the decision about rooting. Once it was always beneficial, todays Android flagships are as good out of the box as any Smartphone.

    The need for rooting to obtain smooth performance is a thing of the past.
  22. lyceumHQ thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 4, 2010
    I actually just spotted a widget already installed that has those toggles so that's sorted now.

    I'm using chomp for SMS which is great. Does everything I want. As does nova so I'm happy with that too.


    The phone does everything I currently need without rooting so am not worried about that right now.

    My reticence comes from the fact it does no more or less than my jailbroken iPhone 5 in terms of performance. And as I said I wasn't expecting flagship perfromance. I wasn't expecting anything actually. And the phone for the price is a steal. But is it worth spending £100 to get the exact same thing. I realise that might sound daft. But usually when you get a new phone its an an upgrade and comes with some improvements. This feels more like a side step. And is it worth spending out on a side grade and not an upgrade.

    The screen is obviously an improvement but Is an increase of half an inch screen size worth £100 to me. That's what I need to figure out. Or am I just spending lt for the sake of spending.
  23. fredaroony macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    What's wrong with swiftkey or the regular keyboard? I find them quite good and easy to type with.

    What don't you like about chrome?

    I use this to put quick settings
  24. lyceumHQ thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 4, 2010
    I have no idea. I tried swiftkey and ai keyboard. But I just find them both awful. I have to delete and re type everything about 10 times. Stock is best (for me personally so far) but that's not great either.

    I want a browser with proper tabs. Tabs that are lined up at the top not hidden away and I have to click a button to show them. I can see what tabs are open by just glancing to the top of the screen.

    Is there a tweak that scrolls to the top of a page by tapping the status bar?

    Will try that. Thanks!
  25. fredaroony macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    I havent really had an issue with the keyboard and found them pretty much the same as iOS, which I only mention since you came from using that.

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